Dita Von Teese was born Heather Renée Sweet on September 28, 1972, in Rochester, Michigan, the middle child of three daughters. Her mother was a manicurist and her father was a machinist.
Von Teese is known for her fascination with 1940s cinema and classic retro style. This began at a young age and was fostered by her mother, who would buy clothes for her daughter to dress up in. Her mother was a fan of old, Golden-era Hollywood films, and it was from her that Von Teese developed a fascination with the actresses of that day, especially Betty Grable.